Breaking: Romanian gas firms to trade 70% of gas volume on OPCOM

04 October 2017 12:24 Source:ICIS

Romanian gas companies will be expected to trade 70% of their wholesale volumes on the state-owned exchange OPCOM following a decision adopted by the parliament’s commission for industries and services on Wednesday morning.

Under the latest arrangement which will have to be rubber stamped by the full parliament at a later date, companies will be able to trade the remaining 30% bilaterally, including on over-the-counter platforms.

The decision amends proposals by the commission earlier this year which would have required companies to trade all their wholesale volume on OPCOM.

The first draft raised concerns among producers and European stakeholders who claimed the proposal was in breach of the EU’s anti-trust regulations.

As a result the full parliament refused to adopt it and sent it back to review by the commission at the end of June.

Even so, the second draft adopted on Wednesday is likely to create an unfair playing field, as it seeks to divert all exchange trading to OPCOM.

So far, most of the trading has happened on rival Bucharest Commodities Exchange (BRM), where liquidity has soared in recent months, with as much as 53TWh traded in the first nine months of the year, compared to 4TWh over the same period last year.

In September alone, the volume traded on BRM represented 65% of the total national consumption, according to data provided by the exchange.

However, if the latest proposal is implemented, BRM will no longer be able to offer a platform for wholesale trading. aura.sabadus@icis.com

By Aura Sabadus